Fresh off the release of her latest project, Dreamers & Thinkers, AdELA is an artist you should get familiar with. Mixing elements of old-school hip hop with a new school vibe, AdELA has created a lane all to herself. The songstress/rapper has a killer flow and a smooth vocal tone to back to back it up. With a dope sound, bars for days, and a penchant for hooks, AdELA has everything it takes to become a household name.
KTIII : Originally hailing from Durban, South Africa, would you say that South Africa influenced your music and sound? If so, how?
AdELA : Being from South Africa and having to move to the United States at such a young age and seeing my parents struggle to survive and then overcome so much to be successful inspired me as an artist. I learned at a young age not to let my circumstances dictate my future. If there was something I wanted, I worked hard for it. As far as my sound, hiphop and soul influenced that.
KTIII : Musically, who are your biggest influences?
AdELA :The person I listen to the most is Frank Sinatra. I never get tired of hearing his music because there is a certain feeling and vibe he gives off through his sound. I was extremely influenced by Tupac and Nas as far as content and then Lauryn Hill made me want to sing and rap. And there are a million artists in between those who influenced or continue to influence me.
KTIII : We’re loving your sound and the way that it incorporates both golden age hip hop sounds with today’s soulful vibes. Is it difficult for you to maintain your original sound today, in an age when many songs are starting to sound very alike? How do you stay true to your sound?
AdELA : I want to always have big sounds and some sort of message in every song I record. I have made records that are turn up and I have records that are deep but I want the listener to understand what I’m saying. Staying true to my sound has always started with the beat. I like big drums and soul samples and I want the beat to make me feel something. From that feeling is where the story or the message comes. I am lucky to work with some of the most talented producers, musicians and writers in the business. And when I go into the studio, I am always a fan first. So if I’m not going to like a song, I won’t record it. I don’t let trends dictate the type of music I make and that has allowed me to maintain my sound.
KTIII : What did you learn first to flow or sing?
AdELA : It came naturally to me as a kid and I just kept developing it. For as long as I can remember I sang. And being able to rap is another form of singing so I was blessed to be able to do both. It gives me an extra edge as far as being able to create my own lane.
KTIII : You’ve rapped with a number of notable lyricists like Kool G Rap and Skyzoo, name 3 artists who you’d like to work with but haven’t been able to yet?
AdELA : Damn. Seeing those names always makes me feel like “you did your thing”. I have worked with rappers who are masters at their craft, so if I didn’t do another collab I feel like I’d be good. But if I had to call three artist to rock with it would be Nas, The Game and Lil Wayne.
KTIII : Who’s currently in your Spotify playlist? Who are you listening to?
AdELA : AdELA
KTIII : In what ways has the music game changed from when you first started making music?
AdELA : Technology has made music more accessible for artists like myself who are independent. I can share my sound with the world without having a major machine behind me. And while it has changed, it’s still a monster. There are still mountains to climb and obstacles to overcome.
KTIII : With Dreamers & Thinkers recently released, what was the motivation behind the record?
AdELA : I knew I wanted a collaboration album. I just didn’t think it was going to be on the magnitude that this turned out to be. It started with one record and turned into 6 records with 9 features. That’s the DREAMER in me.
KTIII : Do you consider yourself to be a Dreamer, a Thinker, or a mix of both?
AdELA : Definitely BOTH. Once I dream it, I have to put it into action. To do that, is like playing a game of chess. Every move is thought out!
KTIII : Main Attraction is a really fresh record from the project, how did the Kool G Rap collaboration come about and what was it like working with the legend?
AdELA : Surreal. Every time I hear G Rap say my name in that verse I feel like I am a part of hiphop history. He’s every rapper’s, favorite rapper. Working with him was a dream come true. He loved the record I sent him and he killed his verse and we have built a dope relationship from it. I still get geeked out that I can shoot him a text or call him. Some people are legends on another level and he’s one of them.
KTIII : What’s next for your music career are you and frequent collaborator STREETRUNNER cooking up a new project?
AdELA : We are wrapping up the video for “Crown” featuring Royce Da 5’9 & Jon Connor which I am so excited to drop and we are always cooking! Expect some crazy sounds in the new year! I feel like I just started with “Dreamers & Thinkers” so I need to see it all the way through but I’m still an artist so there is fire coming!
KTIII : Do you have any advice you would give to aspiring artists that has helped you on the come up?
AdELA : YES! Build relationships and maintain them respectfully. In this business you never know who will be the person to help take you to the next level.